The cost of ecosystem services is becoming increasingly important for the Eastern Partnership countries, where overexploitation of natural resources has already led to their depletion and destruction of the natural environment.
"Ecosystem services and hydropower: the participants of "Pilot Testing of European Tools in the River Basins of the Eastern Partnership Countries" conference evaluated the mechanisms of introduction of ecosystem services, presented proposals adapted to the specific problems of the country. The conference was organized by “Khazer” Ecological and Cultural Non-Governmental Organization, the National Ecological Center of Ukraine (NECU) with the financial support of the European Union National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
NECU Representative Ruslan Havrylyuk presented the European mechanisms. The negative impact of hydropower on ecosystems is almost the same for all countries where hydropower is declared 'green' and has preferential support. This is a loss of biodiversity, a deterioration of water quality, a significant negative impact on watersheds. The significant environmental value of hydropower cannot be covered by existing water fees.
The expert also presented a number of documents adopted by the European Union for the assessment of ecosystem services, their main requirements and approaches.
Experts Aram Gabrielyan and Gor Avetisyan focused on the example of the Argitchi River under the influence of the Argitchi SHPP.
Aram Gabrielyan in his report particularly mentioned that it is needed:
• Introduce "full cycle" impact methodology in the environmental impact assessment rules of hydropower plants and apply it for climate impact assessment
• Prohibit the construction of hydraulic structures, including dams, in free-flowing riverbeds as structures disrupting natural flow.
• Create an open list of rivers on which the construction of any hydropower facilities is prohibited.
• Refuse economic incentives aimed at building hydropower plants ("green tariffs", ad hoc taxes, etc.).
• Ensure the application of an ecosystem approach at the basin level for transboundary river basin management through mutual recognition, compensation for the loss of ecosystem services, and the introduction of the "polluter pays" principle.
• Legally introduce the rules of water use regulation by hydroelectric power plants on a "residual principle", i.e. indicating only the ecological flow regime in the riverbed, the compliance and provision of which should be automated.
According to expert Gor Avetisyan, the economic value of the Argitchi River hydrological ecosystem service is 503.4 million AMD per year.
December 15, 2020 at 13:54